STUDENTS in a school in Runcorn have joined the fight against loan sharks through creating a piece artwork.

Pupils at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy have been working with Digital Arts Box, a Community Interest Company based in Halton, and England Illegal Money Lending Team, also known as Stop Loan Sharks.

The artwork, which is a rogues’ gallery of images, has been made to show the many possible faces of illegal lenders.

“Our students have really enjoyed the creative input with the team from Digital Arts Box – it was a brilliant session which all of our year students participated in, one form group each week,” said Liam Hussey, PSHE curriculum leader at the school.

“Students learned about the motivations and risks for illegal money lending and sources of support before producing their own AI awareness-raising design.

“It is important for us, given the communities that we serve, that financial literacy is addressed from an early age.

“I am really grateful to all the colleagues and organisations who made this innovative and important interaction possible.”

Runcorn and Widnes World: The artwork aims to show the many faces of loan sharksThe artwork aims to show the many faces of loan sharks (Image: Supplied)

It will now go on display at the school to serve as a reminder that loan sharks are not always easy to spot.

“This is our fifth time working on a digital arts project with Stop Loan Sharks, part of a working spanning over six years,” said Ian Pye, director of Digital Arts Box.

“Over the past few weeks, we have been working with the year seven pupils at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy.

“We have been helping to raise awareness of what an illegal money lender is in sessions that are quite powerful and hard-hitting and then introducing the creative side, which the kids love.

The students got creative through using iPads to draw sketches and entering text instructions for AI to expand their artistic abilities.

“Illegal money lenders come in all shapes and sizes and they’re often far from the stereotypical gangster image,” said Tony Quingley.

“They could be a neighbour, a work colleague, a friend of the family, another parent at the school, there really is no ‘typical’ illegal money lender.

“This project will help to get this message across to the next generation and hopefully help keep them safe from illegal lenders in the future.

“These pupils have come up with some amazing artwork using the very latest technology. We hope they have enjoyed the sessions and taken away an important lesson.”